"SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Wofford College first-year students participate in service even before classes begin. This year 444 members of the Class of 2019, along with a little help from the president of the college, Dr. Nayef Samhat, and staff members from Student Affairs, packed 25,000 meals to be shipped to Haiti. Service and a desire to help make the world a better place coupled with a drive for academic excellence are part of the liberal arts education awaiting these new students.

The Class of 2019, however, was already ahead of the game before joining the Wofford community.

“We have first-year students who, while still in high school, created their own non-profit organizations designed to serve others,” says Brand Stille, vice president for enrollment. “One student spent her gap year – taking off a year after high school before entering college – doing mission work in Togo. Another incoming student started a non-profit to serve the homeless while another raised $30,000 for UNICEF. Still another sent 25,000 golf balls to the U.S. troops in Iraq, while one served seven years of active duty in the U.S. Army before coming to Wofford.”

In addition to welcoming 444 first-year students, the college also welcomed 22 transfer students. Classes began Aug. 31.

“We are always excited to have another outstanding class of students to campus,” Stille continued. “This class is no exception, with students coming from 25 states and seven foreign countries – the farthest away coming from China – and 17 percent being students of color.”

Stille says Wofford’s reputation as a national liberal arts college attracts high-caliber students from all over. “We saw an increase in applications for admission this year, and the incoming class is a great representation of the high quality of students we attract and what we seek.”

The average high school GPA of the incoming class is higher than 4.0, and 42 percent of the class was in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Eleven members of the class were student body presidents in high school. Twenty earned the rank of Gold Award or Eagle Scout, 22 were editors of a publication in high school, and 171 were captains of high school athletics teams. Sixty-four are first-generation college students. Two students took 10 advanced placement courses, and one student was accepted to 15 colleges.

The Class of 2019 is split 50-50 by gender and half of them are from outside South Carolina.

Stille also notes that the Class of 2019 includes:

• Wofford College founder Benjamin Wofford’s great-great-great-grandnephew and another who is fifth-generation Wofford student
• A volunteer fireman
• An Irish dancer
• An award-winning computer programmer
• A synchronized figure skater
• A phlebotomy technician – earned during a gap year
• A competitive Yo-Yo-er
• An ordained minister
• One who won a marathon
• One who has written two full-length novels